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Author:Lewis, Logan T. 

Discussion Paper
What's Driving the Recent Slump in U.S. Imports?

In this post, we explore what has been driving the recent slump in U.S. imports of non-oil goods.
IFDP Notes , Paper 2016-11-07

Discussion Paper
Did the West Coast Port Dispute Contribute to the First-Quarter GDP Slowdown?

The decline in U.S. GDP of 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015 was much larger than market analysts expected, with net exports subtracting a staggering 1.9 percentage points (seasonally adjusted annualized rate). A range of factors is being discussed in policy circles to try to understand what contributed to this decline. Factors such as the strong U.S. dollar and weak foreign demand are usually incorporated in forecasters' models. However, the effects of unusual events such as extremely cold weather and labor disputes are more difficult to quantify in standard models. In this post, we ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150702

Discussion Paper
What’s Driving the Recent Slump in U.S. imports?

The growth in U.S. imports of goods has been stubbornly low since the second quarter of 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 0.7 percent. Growth has been even weaker for non-oil imports, which have increased at an average annual rate of only 0.1 percent. This is in sharp contrast to the pattern in the five quarters preceding the second quarter of 2015, when real non-oil imports were growing at an annualized rate of 8 percent per quarter. The timing of the weakness in import growth is particularly puzzling in light of the strong U.S. dollar, which appreciated 12 percent in 2015, ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20161107

Discussion Paper
Did the West Coast Port Dispute Contribute to the First-Quarter GDP Slowdown?

In this post, we examine how the labor dispute at the West Coast ports, which began in the middle of 2014, might have affected GDP growth. Although the dispute started as early as July 2014, major disruptions to international trade did not surface until 2015:Q1. By that time, export and import growth through the West Coast ports in the first quarter were 14 percentage points to 20 percentage points lower than growth through other ports.
IFDP Notes , Paper 2015-07-02

Working Paper
Menu Costs, Trade Flows, and Exchange Rate Volatility

U.S. imports and exports respond little to exchange rate changes in the short run. Pricing behavior has long been thought central to explaining this response: if local prices do not respond to exchange rates, neither will trade flows. Sticky prices and strategic complementarities in price setting generate sluggish responses, and they are necessary to match newly available international micro price data. Using trade flow data, I test models capable of replicating these trade price data. Even with significant pricing frictions, the models still imply a trade response to exchange rates stronger ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1102

Working Paper
Structural Change and Global Trade

Services, which are less traded than goods, rose from 58 percent of world expenditure in 1970 to 79 percent in 2015. Using a Ricardian trade model incorporating endogenous structural change, we quantify how this substantial shift in consumption has affected trade. Without structural change, we find that the world trade to GDP ratio would be 15 percentage points higher by 2015, about half the boost delivered from declining trade costs. In addition, this structural change has lowered the global welfare gains from trade integration by almost 40 percent over the past four decades. Absent further ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-25

Discussion Paper
Trade in Value-Added

As global production sharing expands, gross trade flows provide an increasingly misleading picture of the economic importance of trade.
IFDP Notes , Paper 2013-12-03-3

Working Paper
Bill of Lading Data in International Trade Research with an Application to the COVID-19 Pandemic

We evaluate high-frequency bill of lading data for its suitability in international trade research. These data offer many advantages over both other publicly accessible official trade data and confidential datasets, but they also have clear drawbacks. We provide a comprehensive overview for potential researchers to understand these strengths and weaknesses as these data become more widely available. Drawing on the strengths of the data, we analyze three aspects of trade during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we show how the high-frequency data capture features of the within-month collapse ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-066

Working Paper
Structural Change and Global Trade

Services, which are less traded than goods, rose from 58 percent of world expenditure in 1970 to 79 percent in 2015. In a trade model featuring nonhomothetic preferences and input-output linkages, we find that such structural change has restrained the growth in world trade to GDP by 16 percentage points over this period. This magnitude is similar to how much declining trade costs have boosted openness. Moreover, structural change dampens the measured gains from trade by incorporating endogenous responses of expenditure shares to the trade regime. Ongoing structural change implies declining ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 333

Working Paper
On the U.S. Firm and Establishment Size Distributions

This paper revisits the empirical evidence on the nature of firm and establishment size distributions in the United States using the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD), a confidential Census Bureau panel of all non-farm private firms and establishments with at least one employee. We establish five stylized facts that are relevant for the extent of granularity and the nature of growth in the U.S. economy: (1) with an estimated shape parameter significantly below 1, the best-fitting Pareto distribution substantially differs from Zipf's law for both firms and establishments; (2) a lognormal ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-075

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